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Coetzee wants Referees 'rapped over the knuckles'

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is not happy with SANZAR's match officials performances

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Article Published: Monday 3 June 2013|

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has joined fellow Super Rugby coaches Michael Cheika and Graham Henry in questioning the standard of Super Rugby officials.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika and Blues Assistant coach Graham Henry have both been vocal on the poor performances of the match officials in this year's SuperXV Rugby tournament.

SANZAR who appoint the match officials and manage the tournament have a strict policy about anyone involved in Super Rugby speaking out against their tournaments.

Coaches as well as Super Rugby players have been fined for comments made following poor performances by the match officials.

Last week SANZAR forced former All Blacks coach Graham Henry to apologize after he called a match official "blind".

SANZAR say that if they are not happy with a match official they have to take the matter up with SANZAR privately and they must not air their comments in the media.

A breach of this condition is almost always followed with a citing from SANZAR.

Given the situation an angry Coetzee was very careful in choosing his words when commenting on the current problems with consistency and interpretation.

Coetzee's comments came after his team had beaten the Southern Kings 19-11 at Newlands and were not directed at referee Craig Joubert but at the standard of officiating on the whole.

"The solution is simple - the referees and officials must face the same scrutiny we as coaches face," Coetzee told the Sowetan.

"If we (the Stormers) had lost to the Reds last week and the Kings this week, what would the consequences for the coaching staff be?"

"It would be severe. We would have to answer for our mistakes."

"But what happens with match officials when they make mistakes? I honestly don't know and I don't know if they're untouchable or not. "

"Please go and investigate because the same guys blow a game a week after they've made serious mistakes."

"I would like to see a system where everyone knows when a referee had a poor game, what the mistakes were and he must be rapped over the knuckles just like the rest of us are when things don't go well.

"It would make the product of rugby much better. We have to ask, are we getting a good product at the moment?"

Last month SANZAR fined the Stormers R230000 for 'misconduct' after one of the management or squad allegedly insulted and threatened a touch judge during their match against the Hurricanes.

SANZAR released details of the fine that the Stormers had to pay but did not reveal details of the incident.

One source revealed that Eden-Whaitiri had accused the Stormers of calling him a cheat and subjected him to constant abuse including suggestions he should "go back to club rugby".

On Friday Waratahs coach Cheika said that he was so angry about the match officials performance in the second half of their 23-22 loss to the Crusaders that he had tried to call SANZAR manager of referees while he was still at the ground.

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